1 Peter 2 - 9-12
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light
10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts that wage war against the soul.
12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
The make-over that God does in the life of every believer is beyond comprehension. Look at the titles affixed to the people of God in verses 9 and 10. Just take a few minutes to reflect on what God has done for you through your relationship with Jesus. So much of the truth presents a contrast between now and your previous life. Everything comes down to the fact that you have received mercy and that has changed everything.
Verse 11 moves into the responsibility attached to the gifts of mercy. You are now called on to pay a high price of sacrifice, dedication, and changing lifestyle. God’s work for you and in you makes you an alien and stranger to the world where you were so comfortable. It’s not so much about you rejecting the world as it is about the world rejecting you. But, you must reject the fleshly lusts that war against your soul. These sinful desires are increased by all sorts of things in the world’s system. God calls you to live free of them even as you keep your behavior excellent.
We live in a time of unprecedented duplicity in Christians’ lives. Many put on a public persona that tries to look committed to Christ and as if it is pursuing holiness. Yet, in private they tolerate and participate in things that trample on the blood of Christ and give the devil direct access to their life and family. The social network often reveals more than the person intended as they forget how many postings are visible to everyone. What is revealed is this other life with desires, vocabulary, and behavior contradicting all Jesus is about.
Meanwhile, God is seriously calling every Christian to renounce the evil of the world and live as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God’s possession. Why? So that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Every age group has its struggle with all of this. When you’re a kid or a teenager, you naturally want to be cool and belong. So you worry that if you got crazy for God, you’d have to live in a way that would prevent that. So you develop a “church” version of yourself, and then you have the “school” or “neighborhood” version. Doing that leaves you feeling guilty and surely makes Jesus sad because you are denying Him.
Adults have more power and can do more things and keep them secret if necessary. These things are hidden because they are shameful to rob the person of the freedom and power to live a victorious life and as the shame and guilt increase the spiritual reality decreases and they are sidelined.
God is calling us to a life of undeniable good deeds that when observed will produce spontaneous praise and glory to God. What if we repent of all the cut corners and compromises and then dedicate ourselves to life on the level God has called us? What if God had everything you have to give? What if He empowered and enabled you to live up to your desire and promise? What if you started expecting to do His word and then did it?
He has made the way, and you can do it! God’s best to you today and every day from here to Glory!